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GW18 Bets

Key bets under consideration based on current prices:

Wig v Ars – Over 2.5 goals – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 4%
Key Player Watch – Walcott & Arteta)

Arsenal -1 (Asian line handicap) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 4%
(Key Player Watch – Walcott & Arteta)

Tot v Sto - Draw via 0-0 & 1-1 - 1% each - Coral@12&8
(implied draw bet @ 4.8)

Liverpool lay @ implied odds of 2.7 (Betfair) – 3%

Swa v Mnu - Mnu win – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – 4.5%

Bets with price targets

Ars win @ >1.8
Tot Win@ >2
Mci win @>1.2

New v Qpr Draw @ >3.7
Sou v Sun Draw @ >3.75
Wba v Nor Draw @ >3.8
Whm v Eve Draw @ >3.6
Che v Avl Draw @>5.8


All odds are stated in decimals, and stake sizes recommended are a percentage of your overall bankroll (if £1k bankroll, you’ll generally be placing bets between £10-£50 per game).

Note - Value betting is a long-term strategy that takes advantage of mismatches between the statistical likelihood of an event occurring versus the bookmaker prices available. As such, bankroll and stake sizing are a critical component of a value betting strategy in order to handle to volatility in the performance of bets.

Syndicate target returns = 25%*
Season to date returns = 33%*
* Returns as a % bankroll per season

GW 18, and a slight change in format to the emails (again). Since the picks have been so influenced by late price movements and team selections, for the weekly emails, we’ll put some key bets that we’re currently monitoring followed by some commentary regarding the bets for each of the games; however you’ll have to follow us on Twitter for full details on bets the Syndicate favours at game time.
There are a lot of fixtures to get through over the next few weeks, and the variance in results over this period is significantly higher than any other part of the season given constraints on squad depth, and key player fatigue. As such, the results tend to favour teams with better quality squad depth, and therefore it is a period that can offer the most fruitful yet volatile betting returns. Remember, we embrace variance, as this is what gives us the opportunities to exploit prices, however as we mentioned in the last email, if you want to reduce volatility in returns, you can put the pre-game bet closures on at a odds of ~1.2. The detailed tutorial is still to be put on the site, however it should be up at some point over the new year, and we’re also planning on putting up on the site some of the detail on key players, and pricing that you’ll be able to refer to as a resource in future.

Anyway back to the bets...
Ars v Wig
Arsenal have been drifting out during the week from 1.7, which is slightly surprising given: 1) the general propensity for the market prices to drift according to the previous week’s results, 2) the absence of any key player injury news on the Arsenal front, and 3) the postponement of Arsenal’s boxing day game with West Ham.

We’re predicting Arsene to stick with the same line-up as against Reading given its success. The pace offered by Theo playing anywhere in that front 3 creates a lot of space for Santi to pop up in the hole, which was exploited masterfully on Monday night. This formation is fresh enough for teams not to be fully prepared for it, and Wigan already have injury concerns over a host of key defenders so there should be plenty of chances for Arsenal in this game. Arsenal also demonstrated that in spite of having a much improved defensive record, they can still switch off during the game (albeit at 4-0), and Wigan have good enough players to take advantage of these opportunities, therefore our main bet on this game is the over 2.5 goals price at 1.69.

On the 1X2 bet, given Arsenal’s erratic form, our technical price for the outright on this game has quite a wide range going from 1.65 to 1.9, but we’ve been looking at potentially getting some exposure at 1.8+, however as an alternative, we’ve been monitoring the Arsenal -1 asian line handicap bet at 2.35 (which means if Arsenal win by only one, you get a refund, but if the winning margin is greater than one, you win at 2.35). We mention this price with slight caution, since we haven’t got complete in-house pricing information on the asian line handicap yet, but @FrankAppleseed has been working hard on this, and we expect to have something more complete to start testing in the New Year.
Lastly, as a final alternative to the pre-game outright bet, if Wigan score first, the game trades well in-play, assuming the Arsenal starting lineup or bench includes enough attacking threat and pace to turn the game around. Since it’s televised, it’s easier to follow the game flow than watching the games through pirate internet channels, so monitor the Twitter account for any in-play comments on this one.

New v Qpr
With Newcastle’s terrible form and key player absenteeism, and the Redknapp effect on the Qpr team spirit, first instincts might suggest backing the away side, however ever since Harry moved to Qpr they’re suddenly being priced more like a team that’ll finish just below the top half of the table. Maybe that’s a reflection of the level of form they need to get out of the situation they’re currently in, or maybe Harry is getting all of his mates to back the Qpr win, and it’s bringing the price down. Either way, we’ve not been comfortable assigning appropriate technical prices for the Qpr win be since Harry’s arrival, and therefore we’re steering clear for now. This actually sets up the draw bet nicely, as there should be plenty of drift in the price right up until game, so we're looking at taking some exposure if the price rises beyond 3.65/3.7.
Sou v Sun
Another tough game to pick, however Southampton’s reliance on a player like Lallana, who is almost certainly out, doesn’t seem to be factored into the price. Potentially because of the injury problems to a number of Sunderland key players. As such, there’s potential value in a draw bet, again holding off until just before gametime to see the price top out, but it’s likely we’ll just monitor this one for an in-play trade.
Tot v Sto
AVB has changed his tactics in recent weeks by playing with 4-4-2 to accommodate an in-form Defoe and Adebayor, the better of the 2 strikers. It gives Spurs a significantly better attacking threat, since his usual 4-2-3-1 was essentially wasting 2 players in the middle when playing against inferior opposition. We like the idea of Spurs playing 4-4-2 against Stoke and starting players like Lennon, Dempsey, and Dembele who pose a strong attacking threat but don’t do too much defensively, since Stoke don’t offer of a counter attacking threat, as their first priority is to be difficult to beat. Therefore, we are interested in the Tot win bet, however the timing of such a bet doesn’t need to be pre-game, as Stoke we expect Stoke to be resilient for the first part of the game, likely up to 60 minutes.

As such, we’re expecting to take some exposure to the draw by taking on the correct score bets of 0-0 and 1-1 at better implied draw odds pre-game. The other scores are essentially irrelevant for a Stoke game, as they currently don’t really pose sufficient enough attacking threat against a team like Spurs to warrant the price difference between the straight draw bet at ~4, and the implied draw odds of ~4.8 by taking on these correct score. We then plan to switch to the Spurs win bet in-play, based on our assessment of the game as it progresses.

If you are backing the Spurs win pre-game, one thing to note is that earlier in the season Spurs were prone to sacrificing their lead by giving away late goals. This can be managed by placing the pre-game in-play bet close, however it was evident from the Swansea game that Spurs had been working on making sure this doesn’t happen by consciously maintaining a higher back-line after going 1-0 up, rather than dropping deep and inviting pressure, so you can have more confidence that if Spurs do take the lead, they’re less prone to losing it now.
Wba v Nor
Pricewise, all the value looks to be in the Norwich lay on this game, however West Brom’s current form makes us slightly wary of this bet. They’re struggling for creativity going forward, which is evident in their lack of goals recently, albeit against reasonably resilient teams. However, in spite of a dip in form, West Brom are still difficult to beat.
Norwich will also be resilient, particularly with Tettey back in the line-up, and their form and goal threat based on recent performances is slightly misleading. Other than the opening goal, the other 3 goals against Swansea were all set piece type goals, against a team that struggles to defend set pieces.
As such, we’re currently monitoring the 0-0 bet (13s with Coral) and the outright draw bet, however with a target price of ~3.8 upwards, compared to the current price of ~3.6. Both these types of bets should trade reasonably well in play, as we’re expecting it to be a low scoring affair.
Whm v Eve
With Fellani out, your first instinct might be to oppose the Everton bet, as he has been a key man for Everton all season. However, West Ham are one of the few teams in the league that Fellani would have had the least effect against as they are physical and well drilled at set pieces, a typical Allerdyce team. As stated previously, we don’t like the West Ham win bet without Diame and Carroll though. Therefore, the only bet on this game we’re monitoring is the draw price, currently at ~3.4, with a target of ~3.6.
Liv v Ful
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it every week: Liverpool are underpriced. They simply do not win enough games to warrant the win prices they’re being given. Admittedly Fulham have a reputation for struggling away from home, and they’re a less attractive option without Ruiz who was a key player for Fulham last season, and really brings the best out of Berbatov. However, there is still plenty of value in the Liverpool lay @ 2.7 (either through betfair, or through taking the best Ful win and draw prices and weighting accordingly).
As an alternative, we’ve been looking at Fulham + 0 on the asian line handicap @ 5.25. This offers 5.25 if Fulham win or a refund if it’s a draw.
Swa v Utd
This United win price at 1.71 jumped out at us. United have almost all of their best players available, have been full of goals all season, and the return of Vidic will make them much more resilient at the back. Swansea on the other hand, may be without Rangel, and their backup Tiendelli looks poor, so Fergie will look to exploit this and he'll be drilling into the players that they need to consolidate their 6 point lead at the top after losing the title last season.

Che v Avl
Given Chelsea’s recent tough schedule and travelling, their price is potentially slightly short, and if Mata gets rested, there could be some value in the draw price at approaching 6
Mci v Rea
City are hitting some good form, and it looks like Mancini has finally realised he should start Aguero and Tevez if wants to win every game. At 1.17 there is still decent value in the win price against the worst team in the league, however with a busy schedule coming up, it’s uncertain what Mancini will do regarding team selection, so we’ll be waiting for the team news before placing any bets.

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